At 52, life couldn't get any better for Amitav Ghosh. At an age when other writers begin to worry about running out of words, he has just embarked on his biggest writing project. It's a labour of love, he says in an interview with Sheela Reddy, that will perhaps keep him busy for the rest of his writing life. The first of his serial magnum opus, The Sea of Poppies, will hit the bookstores on June 1.
Is this your most ambitious novel so far?
This is the great labour of my life. Many of my books have been ambitious, but this one I think is ambitious in different ways as well. The range of things in it is greater. I am now 52, and I have a lot of experience of the world and I wanted to pour it all into this book. It is a kind of trilogy, but it could be more. As I see it, I am going to be working on this for the next 10 to 20 years of my life.
You do several years of research for each of your novels. Is it true for this one as well?
The research, as I've always said, is for me the easy and...